The 14th iteration of the Indo-US joint special forces exercise, 'Vajra Prahar 2023,' has kicked off at Meghalaya's Umroi Cantonment. The exercise is designed to facilitate the exchange of best practices and experiences in domains such as joint mission planning and operational tactics. Over the next three weeks, the special forces of both the Indian Army and the US Army will collaborate on diverse activities, including special operations, counter-terrorist operations, and airborne operations.
The 14th edition of the Indo-US joint military drill, “Vajra Prahar 2023,” initiated at the Indian Army’s Joint Training Node (JTN) in Meghalaya’s Umroi on Tuesday (November 21). The United States (US) contingent consists of members from the 1st Special Forces Group (SFG) of the US Special Forces, while the Indian Army contingent is under the leadership of Special Forces personnel from the Eastern Command.
Exercise “Vajra Prahar” is a collaborative military training initiative involving the Indian Army and US Army Special Forces. The primary objective is to exchange best practices and experiences in crucial areas like joint mission planning and operational tactics, as highlighted in a press release by Lt Col Mahendra Rawat, Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO), Guwahati.
The inaugural edition of the exercise took place in 2010 in India, and the 13th edition of the Indo-US Joint Special Forces exercise occurred at the Special Forces Training School (SFTS) in Himachal Pradesh’s Bakloh.
Lt Col Rawat, as stated in the release, conveyed that the ongoing edition is set to unfold at the Umroi Joint Training Node (JTN) from November 21 to December 11, 2023.
Over the next three weeks, the two sides will collaboratively strategize and practice a sequence of special operations, counter-terrorism maneuvers, and airborne operations within simulated conventional and unconventional scenarios in the mountainous landscape of Meghalaya.
Key elements of the joint exercise encompass combat free-fall insertion of troops from stand-off distances, waterborne deployment of troops, precision engagement of targets at extended ranges, combat air control of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, along with the airborne insertion and sustenance of troops, as stated in the release.
Lt Col Rawat elaborated that the “Vajra Prahar” exercise has evolved into a mechanism for exchanging ideas and sharing best practices between the Special Forces of both nations. It serves as a platform to boost interoperability and strengthen defense cooperation between the armies of India and the US.
Established in 2016, the Umroi Joint Training Node (JTN) by the Indian Army is designed to host the armies of friendly nations for joint military training exercises.
Located on the northern foothills of Shillong along the Umiam River, Umroi was envisioned as a JTN due to its favorable weather conditions and mountainous terrain, providing an optimal training environment.
Developed to meet the standards of leading armies globally, Umroi JTN is the designated node of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army for conducting joint military exercises with friendly nations.